Freshwater pearl mussel conservation project will be mainly based in Kerry

A new project aimed at conserving the freshwater pearl mussel will be mainly based in Kerry.

The European Innovation Partnership Freshwater Pearl Mussel Scheme will take in eight catchment areas across the country with approximately 80% of the population.
This scheme will be confined to eight catchment areas containing approximately 80% of the national freshwater pearl mussel population; four of the eight areas are in Kerry, that’s 63% of the total area.

It’ll target up to 800 participants, over 500 (505) of those farmers are to be in Kerry; 185 connected with the Caragh river, 116 with the Kerry Blackwater, 108 with the Currane river, and 96 with the Ownagappul river.

Plans to conserve the freshwater pearl mussel in each catchment area will be designed by an operational team, aided by local farm advisors, farmers and other experts.

The teams are expected to be in place by the end February, following the closure of a tender process on the 24th of January.

An overall budget of €35 million is being made available to fund this and another project on the hen harrier.